Winter seems to have arrived in full force, rather earlier than normal, though only a cursory dusting of the white stuff on car roofs in the morning here in the South. At least so far. A few miscellaneous musings and observations for the season:

  • Magpies seem to be particularly in evidence in my neck of the woods (disclaimer: not actually woods) perhaps because they're foraging on lawns for invertebrates and on the roads for roadkill.
  • I saw a field full of Lapwing just outside St Albans (UKNB HQ) which I've never seen before. According to the RSPB it is normal to see them flocking in fields in winter, I've just never seen it myself around here. I only spotted it from the car because of a bird in flight, with its distinctively massive flag-like wings. The rather low-fidelity picture above shows what I mean.
  • Most trees have dropped their leaves but the oak tree at the bottom of the garden is still fairly well covered in leaves, most of them green, which surprised me. A bit of internet research suggests this is a trait of oaks, keeping their leaves attached to the tree until they are pushed off by the growing new leaves, hence never looking completely bare. I'm not sure which varieties of oak this applies to.
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